Ahead of a trip, most of us think about the items we must bring along and whether everything will fit into our cabin luggage (will I be able to avoid those crazy extras that Ryanair can't wait to charge me with?); we'll take notes of some places we absolutely can't miss and, in most cases, we wonder how broke we'll end up once back home.
So when do we start thinking about time? Time doesn't seem to ever be considered an issue, a must-think-about-it thing. Until, well, it becomes the catalyst of a disastrous trip.
Travel requires time...before travel
If I had to point out when time slapped me in the face for the first time (yes, because, at some point, it does) I have to go back to when I was a newly grad on my first 'real' job. People say that getting your first job is a rush of excitement, in my case it was more like a rush, period. I had a goal: learn fast, move on faster. I knew what I wanted, or I thought I knew, and I worked hard, day and night, to get there.
After several months of working like crazy, I was ready for a break. And then the question came, just days before my time off work: what's the plan? It hadn't occurred to me I needed a plan.
I thought about it and, of course, the solution seemed obvious. I could still catch a last-minute flight to somewhere random. After all, not knowing what will happen next makes it even more exciting. The truth is, I had huge expectations. I wanted to recharge, unwind and make the most of my trip. That, it later turned out, required time to plan, time that had slipped away, while I was too busy making calculations and analysing soils (I'm a geologist).
My first trip after months of hard work on my first job left me with a sense of missed opportunities and I would soon realise that time was now running against me and the lack of it would drive my life for many years to come.
Smarter travel for a better life
Only years later I remembered about what a dear friend, a lot older than me, had once told me, To lead a better life, time, money and health must be working in synergy. It was then clear to me that, while we constantly worry about money and we try to improve our health in any possible way, we never think about time until it's too late.
When Alessia and myself began to talk about Grumgo, we focused a lot on time and the lack of it. I often brought up my friend's teaching: when you are young you have time and health but don’t have money; when you grown-up you have money and health but don’t have time and when you get old you have time and money but lack health. There's no denying it, we constantly lack time. Yet time (and how we spend it) is what we need to live a balanced and happy life.
Travel plays a big role in creating happiness and a sense of wellbeing, but we often forget about allocating enough time to plan our trips properly, to research our destination, to understand what we should do that would make us happy and satisfied. Here at Grumgo we are working hard to help every traveller live a truly enhanced travel experience, even when he or she lacks the time to plan the trip. Because we believe that travel should be stress-free.
Valentina is co-founder and Operations Manager here at Grumgo.
She is a geologist, marathon runner and her favourite cities are those by the sea.